This post is based on a podcast with Gaetano DiNardi. If you’d like to listen to more #FlipMyFunnel Podcast episodes, you can check them out here and listen to this episode below!
We all know about the importance of ranking well on Google. A potential customer goes onto the trusted search engine to find a solution to their problem… and you want the honor of being that solution for them. So what do you do?
You build an effective SEO plan for your content to drive more traffic to your site. Welcome to Gaetano DiNardi’s world over at Nextiva where he’s the director of demand generation for the Arizona-based cloud communications company. Gaetano is a seasoned professional when it comes to ranking well on Google; in fact, his 4-part framework helped him outrank Wikipedia.
That’s why we were so pumped when he sat down with us to walk us through his trusted framework. Following these four steps can help any company improve the flow of organic traffic to their site.
Step 1: Build Your Strategy
To be efficient with SEO, you’ve got to have a solid strategy that you pursue. When people hear the word strategy, they immediately think about a dense plan with specified steps of the future completely mapped out. But the reality is, that’s not how the customer journey works nor how business works. Many times, you have to be willing to roll with the punches.
So before you let the word strategy scare you off, think about your strategy contained within two buckets (how Gaetano’s team does it):
(1) The content you already have
(Whether it performs well or not, it contains nuggets of gold that can be recycled.)
(2) New content opportunities
Pick one opportunity at a time from each bucket, and, boom, you have your strategy.
The biggest area where businesses fail in SEO is they’re trying to do too much. It leads to a lack of focus. There are probably a million keywords you could target at once, but you don’t want to go for more than two at a time. Work those keywords until you’ve reached the goal you set out to accomplish. That’s what it takes to win.
Side note: Picking The Right Keywords
To pick the right keywords: begin by assessing what you’re website is already being recognized for in the eyes of Google. So rather than shooting blind using a random word or phrase you’ve never been recognized for, start where you already have topical depth.
Also, don’t go after the most difficult keywords. Those usually look like the shortest tails, highest search volume per month, high cost per click, and product terms that are closely related to your product or bottom of the funnel. Many companies ignore middle and top of funnel keywords- don’t be one of them. All they care about is bottom funnel, and it’s reflective of how they think about sales. The companies thinking long-term are thinking about how to capture demand higher up in the funnel so that they can reach them first.
As always, do your pre-work:
- Analyze search pages
- Understand intent behind certain queries/searches
Step 2: Do The Work
Once you’ve planned your strategy around one or two keywords and done the background research, create an outline where you highlight key points you want to hit for your writer. It’s not a rigid outline, but a hierarchy flow of information based on your research.
Why? Because the order in which the information is presented is really important. Tip: You don’t want a long, introductory paragraph. Get right to the point and make the points actionable. If you explicitly use the phrase For Example… often in your content, Google will associate your content with being more actionable making your the chances of ranking a lot better.
Step 3: Build Your Promotion/PR/Ad Strategy
When you’ve created your content and published it, it’s time to think about how to drive short, quick bursts of traffic to this asset to start awakening the algorithm. Start with these four suggestions:
- If you have the budget, start by boosting your content on Facebook to get some traction. Make sure you’re targeting the right people and not simply gaining superficial engagement.
- If there were any influencers involved in creating your content, ask them share it with their network
- Send it to your email list
- Relentlessly build links to that content. This happens through things like guest posting, finding broken links, and building relationships with outlets that are sharing your competitors links.
There are so many ways to build links to your content. Get creative; find PR angles to leverage that can also support your SEO goals.
Step 4: Measure Results and Create Your Ongoing Optimization Plan
People give up too quickly. When you feel like you’re getting stuck, that is the time to press on the gas the hardest.
Some great tools to measure how your strategy is doing are:
You also should asses your strategy to figure out what you can do better. A number of things could be wrong:
- Your content is not as good as you thought it was so you have to work on creating more value
- Your not creating for the right intent from your ideal customer
- You’re not building good quality links to that content or promoting it as well as you could
Finally, don’t forget about the technical side. If you suck at technical SEO, don’t be afraid to admit it, says Gaetano. Work with a developer who is savvy in this area and collaborate.
There’s no reason for you not to win at this SEO game.